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Edguy – Age Of The Joker

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD download
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 8.5/ 10


Now this is the Edguy I know and love, and not that the last album "Tinnitus Sanctus" was bad, just "Age Of The Joker" captures more of their classic sound and styles heard on "Mandrake" and the hard rock influence of "Rocket Ride", with the more contemporary elements of "Tinnitus" taking a back seat.

 

First single/video ‘Robin Hood’ I think is one of the albums weaker tracks (although the change in the solo section is pretty strong), maybe because its trying too hard to be a catchy single?, but I can tell you it doesn’t hold up to ‘Lavatory Love Machine’, ‘King Of Fools’, or ‘Superheros’. Hard driving riffs reminiscent of ‘Under The Moon’ (off "Hellfire Club") gives ‘Nobody’s Hero’ punch and should have opened the album instead of ‘Robin Hood’. The keyboard melody in ‘Rock The Cashel’ will surely bring you back to the album "Theater of Salvation" but the rest of the arrangement recalls more "Rocket Ride". ‘Pandora’s Box’ follows and is one of the coolest tunes, aside from the unmistakably Edguy-style catchy hook the southern tinged riff and slide guitar solo brings to mind Jake E Lee and Badlands. ‘Two Out of Seven’ (with its 80’s keyboard melody) is a reaction to one of Edguy’s less than favorable reviews from journalist(s) as the line goes "In your mind, in your eyes, I’m two out of seven. What the fuck? Suck my cock, I’m only a seven, out of twelve".

With each album since "Mandrake", Edguy have been writing less and less in the European power metal style, including two songs at the most influenced by Helloween, Gamma Ray, and/or Stratovarius. On "Joker" more so ‘The Arcane Guild’ than ‘Breathe’ includes the usual quickened chorus, double bass drums, fast guitars and keyboards.

‘Faces In The Darkness’ and ‘Fire On The Downline’ are two of my favorites and both arrangements could have fit well on an Avantasia album. To go with the opening haunting melody in ‘Faces In The Darkness’, and as the track goes through peaks and valleys are singer Tobias Sammet’s excellent delivery and annunciation of words and phrases that flow effortlessly with the heavy riffs and hook. ‘Fire In The Downline’ starts low and builds to the crescendo, a theme that is carried out nicely throughout for this upbeat rocker. ‘Beyond The Gates To Midnight World’…well alls I can say is Savatage would be proud, the dark riffing, to the solo and classic piano, multiple vocal harmonies, its just epic.

If it wasn’t for ‘Robin Hood’ and placement at the end of the album of ballad ‘Every Night Without You’ I probably would have given this 10/10.

 
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